What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer grows in the prostate gland. The prostate gland is found just below a man’s bladder. The purpose of the gland is to make some of the fluid for semen.

When to See a Doctor

You should see a doctor if you have any of the symptoms of prostate cancer, or if you are at risk for developing this disease.

Prevention

There are specific things you can do that may lower your risk of prostate cancer. They include:

  • Getting enough folate (a kind of vitamin B) in your diet. Folate is naturally found in green vegetables, beans, and orange juice. But, men who take too much folic acid (a man-made type of folate) from supplements—pills with 1 milligram or more—have an increased risk of getting prostate cancer.
  • Taking finasteride or dutasteride. These medicines help to lower the amount of dihydrotestosterone—also called DHT—in the body. Higher than normal levels of DHT may increase your risk of getting prostate cancer.
  • Avoiding taking vitamin E supplements.

You can also lower your risk of prostate by doing the following:

 

Stay active

Don't smoke

Healthy weight

Healthy diet

Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms

Symptoms of prostate cancer include:

  • Pain during urination (peeing)
  • Difficultly starting or stopping the stream of urine (pee)
  • Low back pain
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Blood or urine or semen
  • Difficulty getting an erection
  • Less flow while urinating
  • Need to urinate more frequently during the day
  • Need to get up too many times during the night to urinate

Symptoms of prostate cancer may be similar to other health conditions or prostate problems, such as prostatitis (inflammation) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (“BPH” or enlarged prostate). See your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.

 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis

Diagnosis and Tests

Your healthcare provider may do a digital rectal exam—insert their finger into your rectum—to feel the prostate for lumps or anything unusual. You may also get a blood test. If any of the results are unusual, you may need imaging tests, such as ultrasound or MRI. You may also need a biopsy, a procedure in which a doctor removes some of the prostate tissue for more testing.